In this peaceful and well preserved countryside less than one hour away from the big cities of the Rhone Alpes region, you can enjoy walking, cycling, picnicking… And at the top of the hills scattered with a few ancient vineyards, you may enjoy stunning views over the Vercors, the Chartreuse and even the Mont Blanc mountain ranges! But you will also see that despite its understated appearance, the valley holds many more surprises…
A vast forest
To the north of the Bièvre valley, make sure you pay a visit to the Bonnevaux forest nicknamed ‘the forest of a thousand lakes’… Crisscrossed by many walking paths including ‘the Monks and the Lakes path’, it was the Cistercian monks of the ‘good valley’ of Marie who gave the forest its name ‘Bonnevaux’ and its character as it was home to glass, tiles and brick factories.
Called ‘hillsides’, our hills will please people looking for unbroken views over the Massif Central and the Alps mountain ranges, as well as the Mont Blanc, Vercors, Belledonne, Oisans, and Chartreuse ranges.
As you go along a path or a road you will also be able to see the recently planted vineyards and you can also see vine cabins dotted around the hillsides.
A large plain
A true patchwork of colours in the summer, the valley truly contributes to the beauty of our local landscape. It is difficult to imagine that in the Middle Ages this vale was covered by a vast forest and topped by the Bocsozel castle in Le Mottier. You are now able to enjoy long cycle rides through it with all the family!
The Bievre valley is also home to…
Places steeped in history
Market towns and castles from the middle ages such as the Castle in Bressieux, the old Girodon (trading name) silk factory with its listed glass roof in St Simeon de Bressieux, Mandrin’s birth house in St Etienne de St Geoirs, or the mill house in Nantoin with its 10 meter wide wheel, one of the biggest still to be found in France, are all part of the rich past of this area.
History also reveals itself through traditional building methods: in the Bièvre valley local clay was the most widespread material, less expensive than cob cement which needed wood for building the structure; buildings made from the local round stones were also very common near streams and fields. A symbol of the local building style with layers of round stones, the chapels and churches will enchant you in their natural settings. You can find them perched on the top of a hill or nestled within woodlands… and there are so many other treasures to be found within the Bièvre Valley.
More extreme activities
You can fulfill your dream of driving beautiful fast cars at the only racing circuit in Rhone Alpes at Le Laquais track in Champier, or beat your fear of heights parachute jumping, or learning to fly or enjoying a virgin flight at the Aéralp air base in St Etienne de St Geoirs, which is the only professional flying school in Isère. Take a dive into our numerous swimming pools, ride a horse, go fishing, play golf…
There is something for everyone in the Bièvre Valley!